Friday, August 18, 2017

Call centre to solve farmers’ problems

Farmers in Myanmar can now seek prompt solutions to agriculture-related problems through a call centre set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.

Union Minister Dr Aung Thu said the call centre, which began operating on March 1, will dispense modern agricultural and production technologies, packaging methods, logistics techniques and market information to the farmers.

“Call centre of the Department of Agriculture is aimed at providing the easiest and most effective solutions to questions raised by farmers, agriculture businessmen and private entrepreneurs on their problems including seed technologies, pest issues, soil and fertiliser issues,” he said.

He said this was part of the ministry’s efforts to develop an internationally competitive, sustainable agricultural manufacturing system and to raise the social economic status of urban people by ensuring food security.

In addition to dispensing updated information to the farmers, the call centre will also educate them on the use of quality pesticides and herbicides in order to conserve the environment, it is learnt.

As mobile phone penetration has reached the farmers for easy access, the Department of Agriculture has established a call centre to distribute new technologies, seeds and agricultural methods, said its Director General Dr Ye Tint Tun.

“Utilising that opportunity [farmers’ easy access to mobile networks], we have established this call centre,” he said.

The call centre is manned by 50 staff from the department who underwent two months training to answer farmers’ queries, it is learnt.

Dr Ye Tint Tun said if answers could not be immediately provided to farmers’ questions, the staff would consult the relevant experts and respond within 24 hours,

The department has also set a Facebook page for farmers to post questions and upload photos.

Dr Ye Tint Tun said there may be teething problems at the new call centre, but assured that they will be ironed out to improve the service.

It is learnt that farmers can also reach the call centre through the free messaging application Viber.

Farmers can reach the call centre at 01-2399555 between 10am and 3pm on business days.

Translation by Zaw Nyunt